Review - Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by Kristin Cashore
Fire (Graceling Realm #2)
by Kristin Cashore

Summary: It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.
This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.
Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.
If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.

Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.

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Fire is the companion novel to Graceling. It's not a sequel and does not require reading Graceling in order to understand anything. It is merely set in the same world, but in a different region with completely new characters with the exception of one person. You could even read Fire first, if you were so inclined to. I always love reading a series that doesn't require reading every one in order immediately.

Fire was absolutely awesome. Much like Graceling, it took a bit for me to get into it and get used to the world the people in it, but once I did, I was completely addicted. Like I said, Fire is set in the same world, but in a different part of it. There were monster versions of everything, typically with bright colors and fierce attitudes. Fire herself was a monster, the last remaining human monster. Like some Gracelings in the first book, she had the power to enter the minds of people around her and access thoughts, make them listen to hers as if they were their own, and speak to them. Her appearance, including her fiery hair, could distract even the most concentrated person. Men frequently went mad and attacked her, whether the attack be violent or sexual. She covered up her hair to prevent distracting people and never used her powers if she could avoid it. Fire's story was intriguing. Her father was the opposite of her. He was mad with power, cruel to most animals and people, and terrible. She both loved and feared him. The book touched on the past with Fire's father, who was dead in the present.

Fire was close with some members of the royal family in the North. She was eventually escorted to King City where she could help interrogate prisoners to help win the war. She was scared to use her power, but was determined to use it well, if she decided to at all. Once in the new city, she had to get used to being around more people, being the object of attention, and form friendships with people.

I loved watching Fire grow as a character. By using her powers, she struggled with turning into her father, but also wanted to help the fate of the kingdom. The young King's brother, the commander, was wary of her, but they both formed a shaky friendship based on respect for one another and I kept hoping for that small nugget of respect to grow into love between them. I appreciated any character who could talk to and treat Fire like a person and not as an object to be used or protected. Even her best friend from home, Archer, treated her like that and I hated him for it.

The novel, like Graceling, is a fantasy novel with a hint of romance and not like other YA fantasies that can be more like romances with a hint of fantasy. I loved that aspect. It was wordy in some areas, complicated in others, but completely enthralling, enchanting, and amazing. I flew threw the pages and grew to love every character! I highly recommend it. I recommend reading Graceling as well. I'm not sure if I'll pick up Bitterblue at this point, since the people who highly recommended both Graceling and Fire to me have not said anything about Bitterblue at all. But if it even half as good as the other two books, I'm sure it will be amazing.

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